Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects our eclectic interests and, we hope, yours. January 26 is Australia Day, so we’re using it as an opportunity to highlight the Wiser Now Slide Show Australian Adventures, filled with the zany wonders of the continent. We encourage your feedback. (

The Quote

"I wonder if it is Australia's great distance from more populated land masses that allows its inhabitants to be left to their own devices, to be incredibly creative and, at times, to be wonderfully weird." 
~ (American musician) Henry Rollins


The Quirky Observation

Australia is chock full of natural wonders, but among the man-made wonders are about 150 “Big Things” from a walk-through banana to a big lobster to an oversized beer bottle. I have highlighted a bunch of them in the Australian Adventures slide show, some of which truly are quirky, but it would be unfair to label interest in oversized creations as peculiar to Australians. Claiming to be the world’s largest cow, for example, is the “Salem Sue” Holstein statue found off Interstate-94 in New Salem, North Dakota, which is 38 feet high, 50 feet long, and weighs 12,000 pounds. You can find a bunch of other mostly American Big Things here.

The Quirky Fact

Australian slang is known as “Strine,” a major contraction of the 4-syllable pronunciation of their nationality. They like to make contractions of words by adding a “y” or “ie” to anything they can. Thus, barbie is not a doll, but a barbecue, brekkie is breakfast, and mozzie is a mosquito. You can learn more here.

The Request
1.  If you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now. 
2.  Please spread the word: If you know a person or organization who would enjoy these lighthearted offerings, please forward it to one and all.
3.  I’m looking for reviewers of my slide shows and webinars. If you’re interested, please contact me at

The Quiz
The Wiser Now Slide Show Australian Adventures features a trivia quiz on a bunch of Australia’s oddest animals. Here is a very brief excerpt on four of them. Answers (with explanations) are at the end of this document.

1.  Although koalas are placid marsupials (carrying their young in a pouch) that spend most of their time resting and eating, they make an extremely loud and aggressive growling noise.
True ___   False __

2.  The body posture of red kangaroos is upright except when they are feeding on grasses. When they are hopping, they use their powerful tails to provide extra umph that allow them to travel at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (65 kph).
True ___    False ___

3.  Although the platypus looks benign, the male has a hollow spur on the inside of its hind legs that can deliver enough poison to kill a small dog and cause excruciating pain in humans.
True ___     False ___

4.  The backside of a wombat is not as cute as its face, but thanks to special bones in its bottom, it is unusual in another way. It produces cube-shaped poop.
True ___   False ___

The Question
Do you have a topic you’d like covered? Are you doing something that might fit well with this newsletter? Let me know at

The Kiosk of Resources
If the koala is Australia’s most iconic animal, the Sydney Opera House is its most iconic manmade landmark. It’s shell-like roofs have been the backdrop for spectacular light shows. You can view examples here of the Aboriginal art light show and the Vivid Sydney light show (featuring other buildings besides the opera house) here.

And once again, we hope you will purchase the Wiser Now Slide Show Australian Adventures for your classroom, waiting room, living room or residential care activity room.

Also check out the many offerings at and We are posting regularly now at our Wiser Now Facebook page (link) and if you’re interested in caregiving issues, check out our site which also provides links to our weekly LinkedIn “Dementia Minute” articles.

Answers to the quiz:
  1. True, but note that they are growling marsupials; they are not bears.
  2. False. Although red kangaroos can leap as much as 30 feet (9 meters) in a single jump, they use their tails only for balance. (When standing still, it serves as the third leg of a tripod). Bonus info: They use their large rear feet to thump the ground as a warning of impending danger such as a dingo attack.
  3. True
  4. True
Our multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what we and people whom we admire are doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. We hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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